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  #1  
Old 10-08-2013, 09:45 PM
t608 t608 is offline
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compost questions

Last year I had a good pile of compost I made from fall clean ups and such. I turned the pile over once week with my kbota and watch the steam come off the pile. Everything broke down fine but I'm not happy with the color. I was expecting to see a rich black, it was more of a brown in coloring.

I will be doing more composting again this fall. What do I need to do to get this rich black. Would adding ringer plus compost activator help or is that just to speed the process up? Here is a photo of the pile. http://sdrv.ms/16wejAN
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:23 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Looks like you got good results,,, and you're right about the color being different than normal... experiment and see, becuz I don't know what would make the change...
Good job though...
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:35 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t608 View Post
Last year I had a good pile of compost I made from fall clean ups and such. I turned the pile over once week with my kbota and watch the steam come off the pile. Everything broke down fine but I'm not happy with the color. I was expecting to see a rich black, it was more of a brown in coloring.

I will be doing more composting again this fall. What do I need to do to get this rich black. Would adding ringer plus compost activator help or is that just to speed the process up? Here is a photo of the pile. http://sdrv.ms/16wejAN
Be less concerned with color and more concerned on whether it has been properly finished.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:51 AM
t608 t608 is offline
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Quote:
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Be less concerned with color and more concerned on whether it has been properly finished.
What do you mean, it doesn't look like its been properly finished?
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2013, 10:32 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by t608 View Post
What do you mean, it doesn't look like its been properly finished?
I mean, not all finished compost will be black. Stuff I have used over the years has ranged from black to various shades of brown. Generally speaking, the color will be dark, but not necessarily black. In fact, I have seen some black compost that was not properly finished. Color, while it can give you some indication that a compost is reaching maturity, it is not the sole determining factor of a finished mature compost.

Screen your pile and if you can still identify your starting materials in the compost or if it is still hot and/or stinks then it is not finished.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:17 AM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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Kiril is correct, color is not an indicator of finished compost. In fact I've been told by one expert that black indicates the compost is not finished.

One way to test if it's finished is to put a handful of compost into a zip-lock bag and leave it sealed for a week or so. Then open the bag and smell it. If you detect an ammonia or sour odor, the microorganisms are still at work and you need to let your compost finish curing. Test it again in a week.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:31 PM
t608 t608 is offline
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I assumed it needed to be black because you hear everyone call it black gold and there is a mulch place that sells compost and it is dark black.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:01 PM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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It's a common myth.
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